WA Engage strongly supports the End Demand approach to fight sex trafficking. Implemented in King County as Buyer Beware, End Demand is a national initiative from Demand Abolition. Based on the Nordic Model, it has proven immensely successful in reducing prostitution - in Sweden the number of sex buyers was reduced by half over a 12-year period.
The three-pronged approach: 1) Decriminalizes activity by the person being prostituted, 2) Increases criminal penalties and fines for both the buyer and the pimp, and 3) Increases the availability of and funding for social services for prostituted persons.
In 2012, Rose Gundersen drafted a proposal to the WA State Legislature based on the End Demand Model. The paper may be accessed here.
In December 2014, Rose Gundersen released the policy paper Beyond Sex Trafficking: Combating Commercial Sexual Exploitation, Policy Recommendations for 2015.
In order to build on achievements in the area of human trafficking made by Washington State over the past few years and implement a comprehensive sex trafficking prevention policy, the paper recommends strengthening current legislative tools and addressing the underlying factors that contribute to commercial sexual exploitation in general.
The three policy themes include recommendations to: 1) fund the regional training of law enforcement officers in the application of current anti-trafficking laws, with a focus on targeting sex buyers; 2) utilize existing licensing requirements, zoning laws and legal codes to regulate or close down sex businesses posing as legitimate operations, such as illicit massage, bikini barista stands and strip clubs; and 3) through the implementation of a public health prevention approach, address an increasingly sexualized culture that has become a breeding ground for sexual violence and commercial sexual exploitation.
These recommendations also establish a structural and tactical framework to the four prevention strategies adopted by Washington Engage specifically to address sex trafficking: 1) promote a sex trafficking prevention policy, 2) reduce the root causes of sexual exploitation, 3) educate the public to become actively engaged in sex trafficking prevention, and 4) protect youth from becoming targets of the commercial sex industry.
Click here to read 2015 policy paper.